This is a fascinating letter that the excellent financial blog Zero Hedge, has posted from a guy who works at Deutsche Bank. I found his comments on the firms interaction with AIG the most fascinating:
As these losses have grown, taxpayers are being forced to absorb these losses. As an example, my firm recently received nearly $12 billion from American International Group (which has effectively been nationalized with $180 billion in taxpayer funds). Essentially, every American household sent my firm a check for $105. The reason for this payment: my firm bought credit default swaps from A.I.G. In plain-speak, we bought unregulated “insurance” from A.I.G. to cover losses from bad trades. What did taxpayers get in return?
Nothing. Taxpayers simply paid an I.O.U. triggered by our gambling losses. (Note: This $12 billion payment was more than 50 percent of our market capitalization at the time of its disclosure).
Note what he is saying here. Deutsche Bank made poor bets on the financial markets, AIG guaranteed those bets. The bets went sour. Deutsche Bank had a lot of gambling losses, and the U.S. Taxpayers made all the losses good. It’s that simple, and that unbelievable.